The current records for exports go back to 1999. In that year, Oregon exported about $10.5 billion worth of goods. Exports grew moderately until 2006, when their value jumped by nearly $3 billion to $15.3 billion. In 2011, the state shipped more nearly $18.3 billion in electronics, agricultural products, machinery and other commodities to a host of foreign buyers. (By comparison, foreign imports to Oregon were about $16.5 billion in 2011.) Asian countries are major players on Oregon's roster of international customers with China as the largest ($3.2B) single recipient of Oregon's commodities since 2009. Canada received the second-highest value ($2.7B) of shipments from the state in 2011.
Data about foreign exports get plenty of attention in an economy that's increasingly going global. And because export data come from customs records required for cross-border shipments they're detailed and fairly current, and compiled by the U.S Census Bureau. By comparison, data on domestic shipments are sparse: the most recent figures, released in 2009, come from the 2007 Economic Census. But don't let the domestic data's more limited detail and availability fool you. In 2007, Oregon shipped goods worth more than $147 billion to domestic buyers (Graph 2). That was roughly $63 billion in products that traveled around the state, $19 billion shipped to California, $22 billion to Washington, and more than $40 billion to other states. In the same year, Oregon shipped just over $16.5 billion in goods to foreign countries - about 11 percent of the state's total domestic shipment value.
Is that a lot? Oregon's northern neighbor Washington had a share that was tops in the nation at 8.6 percent in 2009. California and Oregon were tied at 17th place, each with 5.1 percent of private employment supplied by manufactured exports. These states, however, share at least one common feature in their export profile - foreign exports from Oregon, California, and Washington are heavy on transportation equipment, computers, and agricultural crops.
Unfortunately, data that link domestic shipments to their impact on Oregon jobs aren't readily available. Because the value of domestic shipments dwarfs the international figure, however, it's reasonable to assume that domestic manufacturers support a larger number of Oregon jobs than do foreign-bound goods.
Data users should read the general information in the report to learn more about the numbers. For example, the data cover shipments by portions of the mining industry, almost all of the manufacturing sector, all of wholesale trade, and catalog and mail-order retail businesses. They don't include the value of purchases by tourists from other states or interstate trade in services.
International trade data are available from the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Association via Trade Stats Express at tse.export.gov/.
For data on jobs supported by international exports, see ita.doc.gov/td/industry/otea/jobs/.